The highly anticipated custody solution by financial services giant Fidelity Investments is said to be unveiled in March of this year, as reported by Bloomberg, who confirmed the sensitive information from people familiar with the matter.
Fidelity announced their foray into the cryptocurrency market back in October last year, and introduced Fidelity Digital Assets, with a focus on providing custody solutions to institutional investors. The financial services giant confirmed that Bitcoin [BTC], which currently holds over 53 percent of the global cryptocurrency market, will be the first virtual currency to get the custody service, followed by Ether [ETH], which comes second with under 10 percent global share.
In a statement, released on January 29, Fidelity said:
“We are currently serving a select set of eligible clients as we continue to build our initial solutions. Over the next several months, we will thoughtfully engage with and prioritize prospective clients based on needs, jurisdiction and other factors.”
Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity is a cryptocurrency proponent and has heralded the company’s initial steps into the decentralized industry. Fidelity revealed in October that it kept a watchful eye over the cryptocurrency realm for years and that it has been mining Bitcoin since 2015.
In addition to the custody solution, the fourth-largest asset management giant will also provide a trading-execution platform and around-the-clock advisory services to their institutional clients, through Fidelity Digital Assets.
State Street, another banking giant, has also shown interest in the cryptocurrency custody field but is hoping client demand will increase before formally entering the space.
Back in December, Jay Biancamano, a managing director for digital product development and innovation at State Street said that there is a “high level of interest” in the crypto-custody, but there’s no “urgency” from the financial giant to rush in as the market demand is still low.
Institutional investors are seen as the next frontier in the cryptocurrency world. Bakkt, the digital assets platform backed by NYSE and ICE is set to be launched this year, the Bitcoin ETF will be tabled before the SEC in March and Nasdaq is looking to launch their Bitcoin futures in the first half of 2019.
Crypto-specific custody solutions are already provided by mainstays like Coinbase and BitGo, but some users have said that the cost of the same is too high to warrant the service. Other new players could include traditional custody providers like Northern Trust and Nomura, who are planning on entering the cryptocurrency field with similar solutions.
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